Lefevere: Keeping Alaphilippe comes down to money

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) attends a press conference on April 19 ahead of the Amstel

Patrick Lefevere has made Julian Alaphilippe a contract offer but the Belgian team boss is still none the wiser as to whether the French rider will stay with Deceuninck-QuickStep beyond 2019. Alaphilippe has been linked with a big-money transfer to Total Direct Energie for 2020, with the French team significantly increasing their budget after Total came on as a sponsor earlier this year. Lefevere has a fight on his hands to keep a number of high-profile riders, with Alaphilippe, Elia Viviani and Enric Mas among those on the transfer market for next year. Alaphilippe, in particular, has enjoyed a remarkable start to the season with eight wins already, including victories in La Flèche Wallonne, Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and two stages in Tirreno-Adriatico. He is currently training for the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France , where last year he won two stages and the King of the ...

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Peter Sagan finding Tour de France legs in California

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the leader's jersey after winning the opening stage of the 2019 To

Peter Sagan 's struggle with an early-season illness that led to sub-par performances in the spring Classics could be turning around at the Tour of California . The former triple road race world champion is preparing to win a seventh green jersey at this year's Tour de France . Bora-Hansgrohe director Jan Valach says the team back Sagan entirely, and believe that his stage victory in Sacramento on Sunday was exactly the morale-boost that both he and the team needed. "Yes, we're very happy with that win because it was important for Peter and for Bora-Hansgrohe," Valach told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2, a 214.5km mountain stage to South Lake Tahoe, on Monday. "I'm also happy for him that he has come back with this victory, and that he can continue on like this into the season. In the spring, he was sick, and then he found it ...

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Roger De Vlaeminck is still racing

Roger De Vlaeminck’s record speaks for itself. In a career spanning nearly two decades he notched up more than 160 victories, not least four Paris-Roubaix titles (the equal record), three wins at Milan-San Remo, six overall titles at Tirreno-Adriatico (with 15 stage wins), and a massive 22 stage victories at the Giro d’Italia. He won … The post Roger De Vlaeminck is still racing appeared first on CyclingTips .

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The weekly spin: George Bennett talks California, Kittel, and Game of Thrones

The last time George Bennett started the Amgen Tour of California, he won the race. He didn’t win any stages at the 2017 edition, but on the strength of several high placings in the mountains and a strong time trial, the 29-year-old Kiwi took the first (and only) pro victory of his career, ahead of … The post The weekly spin: George Bennett talks California, Kittel, and Game of Thrones appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Roglic leads after Giro d’Italia Stage 1

Supported by Bologna (Italy) (AFP) – Slovenian Primoz Roglic won the first stage of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday ahead of Britain’s Simon Yates, pulling on the leader’s pink jersey after an eight kilometre individual time-trial. The three-week race got underway in Bologna and finished with an uphill ride to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San … The post Roglic leads after Giro d’Italia Stage 1 appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Giro Press Conferences: Quotes from the favourites

Supported by The grande partenza of the Giro d’Italia is days away. Riders are in Bologna, Italy, wandering around their team hotels in team-issue sweats, heading out for brief spins in the warm spring weather. It’s a week for press conferences, and handful of the favourites for the overall — Primoz Roglic, Tom Dumoulin, Miguel Angel Lopez, Vincenzo … The post Giro Press Conferences: Quotes from the favourites appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Roglic 'not worried' about starting Giro d'Italia in top form

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) before the Giro d'Italia

Any lingering doubts in Bologna about whether local media considered Primoz Roglic a top contender for this year’s Giro d’Italia evaporated as quickly as it takes to eat a spoonful of local Bolognese meat sauce in his press conference here on Thursday. Question number one for the 29-year-old Slovenian - "Primoz, you are the favourite, are you not worried that you have come into form too soon?" - both confirmed his top status and was swiftly batted away by the relaxed-looking Jumbo-Visma leader. "It’s true we have a really strong team, we’ve done some hard work specifically for this race, and I’m not really worried," Roglic told reporters. "We’ve done a nice job and I’m looking forward to starting here in two days' time." Roglic’s track record since January has been nothing short of exceptional, with victories at the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour de Romandie making it three ...

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Preview: Everything you need to know about the 2019 Giro d’Italia

Classics season is behind us and the Tour de Romandie is now complete. That can only mean one thing — it’s time for the Giro d’Italia. The 102nd edition of the Giro starts in Bologna this Saturday and concludes in Verona on June 2. Ahead of the first Grand Tour of the season we take … The post Preview: Everything you need to know about the 2019 Giro d’Italia appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Gallopin and Vuillermoz headline AG2R La Mondiale for Giro d'Italia

Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale)

Tony Gallopin and Alexis Vuillermoz will be the protected riders for AG2R La Mondiale when the Giro d'Italia kicks off for three weeks of racing this weekend. Gallopin will ride his first Giro, and hopes to take a stage win to add to the stage victories he has from the Tour de France (2014) and last year's Vuelta a Espana, where he also finished 11th overall. Vuillermoz, meanwhile, returns to the Giro for the first time since 2014 – when he, too, finished 11th overall – and is eyeing a top-10 finish overall at the Corsa Rosa . "Alexis wanted to change his programme this season and return to the Giro, five years after his last participation," said sports director Laurent Biondi on the team's website. "After a victory in March at the Royale Bernard Drôme Classic, his progress was slowed by a crash at Tirreno-Adriatico. But during the Tour ...

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Roglic: Romandie victory was 'perfect preparation for the Giro'

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) on the Tour de Romandie podium.

Primož Roglič ( Team Jumbo-Visma ) triumphed at the Tour de Romandie on Sunday afternoon, sealing his third stage race victory from three so far in 2019. The Slovenian's dominant performance in Switzerland has only cemented his position as a top favourite for the Giro d’Italia , which starts next weekend. Roglič won three of six stages in Romandie, also finishing second in the prologue and third on another stage. The comprehensive victory, which saw him beat Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) and Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) by 49 seconds and 1:12, respectively, is surely the perfect lead-in to the Italian race, which Roglič returns to after two years spent targeting the Tour de France. "I'm very happy with my third stage victory and my overall victory," said Roglič in a post-race team statement. "This victory Is a team achievement; the entire team was fantastic this week. "It shows how ...

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Roglic wins Tour de Romandie

Roglic wins the Tour de Romandie

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) secured final overall victory at the Tour de Romandie after he delivered a dominant display to win the concluding time trial in Geneva. It was the Slovenian’s third stage race victory of the season after triumphs at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico, and the win further underscored his credentials ahead of the Giro d’Italia, which gets underway next Saturday. The last man down the start ramp in Geneva, Roglic racked up his third stage win of the Tour de Romandie with an assured and smooth performance on the 16.8km course, beating European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) by 13 seconds. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) delivered a solid display to take 7th on the stage, a performance that sufficed for him to retain second place overall, 49 seconds down on Roglic. Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) availed of the final time trial to move up to ...

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Kuss to replace Gesink in Jumbo-Visma's Giro d'Italia squad

Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) launches a solo attack on stage 6 of the 2018 Tour of Utah

Sepp Kuss will replace the injured Robert Gesink in Jumbo-Visma ’s line-up at this month’s Giro d’Italia , the team have confirmed. Gesink was originally slated as one of the seven men to support Primoz Roglic at the Corsa Rosa , but the Dutchman suffered a broken collarbone and pelvis in a crash during Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Kuss has been training at altitude recently ahead of the Tour of California, so the American should be able to slot into the team with relative ease. The Giro will be Kuss’ second Grand Tour and his first appearance at the Italian race. The 24-year-old Kuss turned professional with Jumbo-Visma last year, having previously raced with the US Rally team. He made a big impression in the latter half of the year, winning the Tour of Utah before going on to debut at the Vuelta a España. At the Spanish Grand Tour, Kuss was ...

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The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

The Classics might be over for another year, but for two 24-year-olds the best is yet to come

Daniel Ostanek 2 May 2019 The battle of the Vans this year was just a glimpse of the rivalry we can expect for years to come. Everyone else will be fighting for third Sadly, the Spring Classics are over. The near two-month long jaunt from Merelbeke to Liege, via Siena, Antwerp and a host of other exotic locales, is done, another chapter in the history books as we move on to the stage races of the summer . Plenty of memories linger, of course – battles like Alaphilippe vs Fuglsang, Deceuninck-QuickStep vs the peloton, and Alberto Bettiol vs everybody’s betting slip. But another subplot has been running the whole time, continuing on from the dark days of winter, and only ending in the Ardennes. If you hadn’t guessed already, it’s that of the two young guns – the multi-disciplinarians and longstanding cyclocross rivals, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der ...

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Roglic shows sparkling form with Tour de Romandie lead

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) takes the stage win

After coming second in the Tour de Romandie prologue to fellow Slovenian Jan Tratnik, Primoz Roglic ( Jumbo-Visma ) showed impeccable form and timing to take the victory on stage 1 in La Chaux de Fonds and move into the race lead. Though his lead stands at just 10 seconds over UAE Team Emirates' Rui Costa and 12 seconds on David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) with Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) one second further adrift, one cannot discount Roglic as a contender to take home the overall victory. He won both stage races he's started this season - beginning at the UAE Tour where he led from start to finish, and on to Tirreno-Adriatico where he snatched the overall win on the final day's time trial from Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott). The Slovenian is now looking ahead to the Giro d'Italia where he will throw his hat into the ring ...

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Defending champion Roglic narrowly misses out on Romandie prologue win

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

Jumbo Visma 's Primoz Roglic had to settle for second place after the Tour de Romandie prologue time trial on Tuesday, losing out to Bahrain-Merida's Jan Tratnik by less than half a second. UAE Team Emirates' Tom Bohli (UAE Team Emirates) took third. Roglic – the defending Romandie champion – is officially recorded as having finished a whole second behind winner Tratnik, with results always rounded up to the nearest second, but in reality the gap was just 0.39 seconds – just under four tenths of a second, which the team have more generously called three tenths of a second. "Of course, I'm disappointed with those three tenths," Roglic said on his team's website. "You always want to win, but with Tratnik as the winner, I'm not too disappointed. He's a good friend of mine." The time difference is likely to become irrelevant once the race hits the mountains on ...

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Davide Rebellin sets June retirement date

Davide Rebellin at the start of Binche-Chimay-Binche

Davide Rebellin ( Meridiana Kamen ) has announced a retirement date after 27 years in the professional peloton. The veteran will race for the final time at the Italian National Championships on 30 June, two months shy of his 48th birthday. Rebellin also stated that he will be rejoining Meridiana Kamen – for whom he raced in 2012 – for the final months of his career. He had raced for Algerian Continental team Sovac during last season up until February of this year before his contract was terminated by mutual consent. The 47-year-old was in Huy, Belgium for the presentation of a film about him – Il Vecchio Saggio (The Wise Old Man) – when he made the announcement to La Gazzetta dello Sport . "I will stop at the Italian National Championships on Sunday, 30 June at Compiano," he said. "I started the season with the Algerian team Sovac, ...

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Fuglsang draws career-best spring to a close at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

The one-time lead duo of Jakob Fuglsang and Julian Alaphilippe

Jakob Fuglsang ( Astana ) says that he's better than he has ever been at this time of the year and he is hoping to capitalise on that to take the Liège-Bastogne-Liège title. So far this season, Fuglsang has won the Ruta del Sol, finished on the podium of every one-day race that he's completed and taken third overall – plus a stage win – at Tirreno-Adriatico. Fuglsang has twice finished in the top 10 at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, his best result coming in 2015 with a ninth-place finish. With what he feels is his best spring form, he is hoping to improve upon that on Sunday. "At the moment, I feel super and the Classics have been super. So far the whole start of the season has been very good for me so till now I haven’t been as good as I have now at this time of the year," Fuglsang ...

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Fuglsang and Alaphilippe disagree over Amstel Gold Race finale

Jakob Fuglsang and Julian Alaphilippe made their move on the Eyserbosweg

For much of the final 30 kilometres of Amstel Gold Race , there looked to be only one outcome in Berg en Terblijt. With Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-Quick Step ) and Jakob Fuglsang ( Astana ), the finale was reminiscent of Strade Bianche, where the duo rode together for the last 20km before the Frenchman triumphed in Siena. While the script bore a resemblance to that of the Italian classic heading to the finish, it was torn up in extraordinary fashion in the closing kilometres. With Alaphilippe thought to have a better sprint, Fuglsang sat back as the duo neared the line. The result was a fatal slowing of the pace which let the chasing groups led by Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) make the catch in the final kilometre. Naturally, both Fuglsang and Alaphilippe had differing opinions on what went down. “I told him ...

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Jumbo-Visma name Giro d'Italia team to support Roglic

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) during stage 4 of Tirreno-Adriatico

Jumbo-Visma have named the riders who will support Primoz Roglic at the 2019 Giro d’Italia . The Dutch squad are the first to confirm their line-up for the corsa rosa, which gets underway in Bologna on May 12. Roglic will be able to rely on strong backing in the high mountains of the Giro, thanks to Robert Gesink, Laurens De Plus and Antwan Tolhoek. Jos van Emden, Tom Leezer, Paul Martens and Koen Bouwman completing a formidable squad. The core of the Giro team is the same as the one that helped Roglic to overall victory at the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico so far this season. The eight-man roster has been training together at altitude in Sierra Nevada in recent weeks. "We find it very important that everyone has the same preparation. But it’s also about the group being together already so that they won’t see each other for the ...

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Geraint Thomas 'on track' for Tour de France defense

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Geraint Thomas ( Team Sky ) says he is on track to defend his 2018 Tour de France title when the race rolls out of Brussels on July 6 despite a relative lack of race days so far this season and his high-speed crash last week at Tour of the Basque Country. In an interview with the BBC 's BeSpoke podcast , Thomas said he's not far off the form he had last year at this time, and he knows what he's got to do to reach Tour de France fitness. Thomas has raced rather anonymously in the peloton over his 16 race days of far this season, starting the Volta a Valenciana in February. He finished 12th in Strade Bianche, but a stomach bug forced him out of Tirreno-Adriatico on stage 4 last month. Thomas most recently rode Tour of the Basque Country, where he emerged relatively unscathed from ...

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